L'immagine è cosa mentale


True to our tradition, the 2017 edition is inspired by the theme of the Biennale formerly known as Mois de la photo à Montréal. We have constructed a response to the question «What does the image stand for” from the artist Vincenzo de St-Leonard’s words "L'immagine è cosa mentale".



Perhaps the condition is more "post-museological" than "post-photographic"


The Uqbar Metafictional Photography Biennale is delighted to accept the Joan Fontcuberta challenge to create a work of art inspired by the proposed theme of "post-photographic condition". Photography is fundamental to Cyberspace since, as an optical networking based universe, photographs constitute its primary macroorganism. In fact Cyberspace could even be considered a higher evolutionary form of photography.


Understanding what might be meant by “post-photographic” hinges upon understanding what might be meant by “photographic”. The suffix “post” implies an abrupt disconnection with the course of one’s own intrinsic evolution. Something ontological has to change. Just as the term post-human implies a transformation which supersedes humanity, the term post-photographic would describe something which is no longer photography. If one already considers photography to be universal, ubiquitous and democratically accessible it is difficult to imagine that it could be superseded by new technologies which would seem to reinforce such qualities.


Photography transformed the human world more than it did the art world, it changed our perception of ourselves, of our relationship with time, and therefore of our own mortality. It revolutionized human visual communication.Photographers at the beginning of the 20th century who redefined visual conventions were not artists, they were mommas and papas and 7 year old kids with portable cameras, accomplishing in a few short years what no artistic genius ever dreamt or dared in centuries of aesthetic practice. Photography in those years was very much like the internet; democratic, accessible, chaotic and unrestricted. Anyone could take pictures, just as anyone can collect bones or build mud structures with plastic shovels. Technology is moving to facilitate this kind of photography, while threatening cultural and financial enterprises that covet the more noble photographic practices.


Photography possesses the unique ability to be in direct contact with experience, in other words in direct contact with the imagination’s spontaneous reaction to the world. The genesis of the photographic image is often a cognitive spark. The speed and ease at which the subconscious mind is able to seize and manipulate exterior forms through the viewfinder circumvents the rational, analytical ego-centred brain, in much the same way that dreams do. Photography is inherently surrealistic. It is only partially metaphorical to qualify the complete human photographic archive as an anthropological dream journal and cyberspace as Vishnu, the neurological net projecting the collective dream of the world.